EYEAFRICA TV: New York, USA: The UN Security Council members met in New York City on Thursday, to discuss the escalation of fighting in Syria. A draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in Idlib was reportedly circulated among diplomats.
“Despite an attempted Russian-Turkish reinstatement of the ceasefire announced in earlier August, hostilities in and around Idlib quickly resumed. A major government offensive retook the southern tip at the de-escalation area. Pro-government airstrikes, shelling, rockets and mortars continue with more civilians killed. “Many more have fled their homes. More health facilities and other civilian infrastructure, including markets, schools, IDP camps and water stations were hit,” the UN envoy for Syria Geir O. Petersen told the Security Council.
The document reportedly called for a truce to avoid a further deterioration of the already catastrophic humanitarian situation. “We are also very concerned about what is happening. We very much understand the primary reason for it and we ask everybody not to forget about it,” Dmitry Polyanskiy, Charge d’Affaires of the Russian Federation said.
It was not clear when the council would vote on the resolution.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said, “Over the weekend of the 16 to 18 August, an additional 44 civilians were reportedly killed due to airstrikes, including 16 children and 12 women. Attacks also reportedly impacted two schools in Haish, one in Martaroma and one in Hazarin.”
On Monday, 15 civilians including women and children, were reportedly killed in airstrikes on seven communities in Idlib. And this morning we received reports that yesterday, 17 more people including 3 women and 7 children, were killed by airstrikes and the health care facility at Gat Kattam was damaged.
Over the last three weeks since the collapse of the conditions of the ceasefire on 5 August, thousands of communities have emptied out northern Hama and southern Idlib. Satellite imagery shows that entire towns and villages have been razed to the ground. Most of those who can are fleeing northwards further into Idlib governorate and closer to the turkish border.
Acting Permanent US Representative to the UN, Jonathan Cohen said, “The United States supports call for the resolution to address the situation in Idlib. Madam President, these attacks make it impossible to believe that the regime and Russia are being honest when they say they are not pursuing a military solution to this conflict.”
He said US objected to the offensive launched by Assad regime and his allies under the false pretence of counter-terrorism operations, saying, “We know what counter-terrorism operations look like. And although we agree that there is a terrorist problem in Idlib, what we are witnessing is not counter-terrorism, but rather an excuse to continue a violent military campaign against those who refuse to accept the Assad regime as it is.”